May 14, 2021

Saskatoon man remembers special meeting with Muhammad Ali [in Cayman Islands]

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Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.37.33 PMBy CKOM News June 7, 2016 – 9:55am

Muhammad Ali has a special place in the heart of one Saskatoon man.

Wes Dennis is originally from the Cayman Islands, where his dad owned a bar. He recalls meeting the legendary boxer the early 80’s, when Ali was visiting the area.

“I got to hang out with him for a week or so; he was driving around with my father and as he was going around the island, we took photos and he got to meet all the kids on the island,” Dennis said.

Dennis was seven years old at the time and was taken by how kind and sweet the world’s greatest boxer was to everyone.

“As a kid you hear about him being a great fighter and beating up on the guys that he did. But to all us kids, he was hugging me and tickling me the whole time,” he said.


“He was shadow boxing with other kids, real personable and even at the age of seven; something like that just gets implanted in your mind.”

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.37.46 PMDennis is an operating partner at Rock Creek Tap and Grill in Stonebridge.

He shared photos of the time with CKOM News, and said the memories came flooding back after learning of Ali’s death on June 3.

“You don’t think about so much until a moment like this when someone that great has been through your life, walked through your life, and then passes on,” he said.

“I can still remember him messing with my ears, you know, that kind of thing.”


Seven-year-old Wes Dennis shakes hands with Muhammad Ali while the boxer was visiting the Cayman Islands in the 80s.

Wes Dennis recalls Muhammad Ali being playful during his visit: “He hugging me and tickling me the whole time.”

For more on this story go to:

EDITOR: On Muhammad Ali’s same visit I was with Joan with my two young sons in Burger King on the waterfront. Ali was sitting on his own waiting for his companion to bring him his food. My sons went up to him and spoke briefly to him. When they came back I asked them what he said.

“Obey your father at all times,” Ali told them.

Sadly, they never took his advice.

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